An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 9 - Prophetic Truth - Page 200 of 223
The opening vision presents to the eye of the prophet, a horse and
rider standing 'among the myrtle trees in the bottom'.  The Hebrew word hadas
is uniformly translated 'myrtle' six times, while Hadassah, the original name
of Esther, makes the number up to seven (Est. 2:7).  Simonis considered the
name Esther to be a compound, as tur, meaning 'a fresh myrtle'.  The book of
Esther by the fact that the Divine name is only to be found buried in a
series of acrostics (see Appendix 60, The Companion Bible) is suggestive of
the way in which God works for His people even though for the time being His
presence is not evident.  The 'bottom' in which this rider was seen means a
place of shade, and in combination with the Hebrew muth is translated some
forty -five times 'the shadow of death'.  In some cases this word indicates a
protective covering or shadow (Psa. 17:8; 63:7; Isa. 51:16, etc.).
Of the 'horses' it is written, 'we have walked to and fro through the
earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest' (Zech.
1:11).  Similar language is used in Zechariah 6:5,7, 'these are the four
spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all
the earth'.  'Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth'  It will be
remembered that the sons of God and Satan himself are said to have gone 'to
and fro in the earth' and to have walked 'up and down in it' (Job 1:7; 2:2).
The tenth chapter of Daniel lifts the veil and reveals the unseen
agencies that influenced the deliberations of the kingdoms of Greece and
Persia, an influence which will be revived as the last days draw near, even
as these visions of Zechariah indicate invisible spiritual patrols in the
earth.  The fact that all the earth was 'at rest' (Zech. 1:11) and that the
heathen were 'at ease' (Zech. 1:15), was not well pleasing to the Lord, for
it spoke of Israel's afflictions.  In reply to this report from heaven's
agents in the earth, the prophet is bidden to 'cry':
'Thus saith the Lord of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet
be spread abroad; and the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet
choose Jerusalem' (Zech. 1:17).
The vision of chapter 2 is devoted to the promise of restoration, a man
being seen with a measuring line in his hand to measure Jerusalem, and the
message being given, 'Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for
the multitude of men and cattle therein' (Zech. 2:4).
The future restoration of Israel is often considered to be impossible
by reason of their apostasy and their rejection of the Messiah.  Chapter
after chapter in their own sacred oracles accuses them of idolatry and
spiritual adultery, of disobedience and of hardness of heart, until at length
this people of God's choice actually murdered the Messiah Who had been sent
to them.  Yet in spite of this, the well -known words of Romans 11:28,29,
make their restoration certain:
'As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes; but as
touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes.  For
the gifts and calling of God are without repentance'.
Consequently in Zechariah we have a vision of Joshua the high priest
standing before the angel of the Lord, with Satan resisting, and the Lord
saying to Satan, 'The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath
chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?'